Monday, July 27, 2015

Biscuits, Reuben, Gyro or Truffle Fries? Vote on Lay's 'Do Us a Flavor' Finalists

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 8:19 AM

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Lay's has announced the four finalists for this year's "Do Us a Flavor" competition. In this third year of the contest, the flavors all have regional interest: Southern Biscuits and Gravy, New York Reuben, Greektown Gyro, and West Coast Truffle Fries.

Now, I'm a fan of biscuits (and used to be a fan of gravy), but I'm appalled that once again Nashville Hot Chicken was not a finalist. Did no enterprising and great Nashvillian enter this flavor? I've never had hot chicken myself, but I have had the hot cheddar flavor of Willa's Shortbread and it is amazing. I suppose they think the Flamin' Hot is a suitable substitute, but I'm sure hot chicken aficionados would disagree. Hot chicken is a taste like no other.

Nevertheless, these are the flavors we have to choose from this year, and I will say that at least this group is an improvement over last year's, which included the infamous cappuccino flavor (the grand prize winner, however, was the very tasty wasabi ginger). Word on social media is that the flavors have already been stocked at area stores. I haven't been able to try any of them myself, but was disappointed to learn that duck fat is an ingredient in the truffle fries version. But I'm sure many of you will enjoy them. If anyone has tried the new flavors, please let us know your thoughts in the comments.

You can vote for your flavor on the Lay's website now (or via Twitter, Instagram, or text). Stakes are high: The grand prize winner will receive the greater amount of either $1 million or 1 percent of net sales through July of next year. And, of course, a place in the official Lay's product line.

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Proper Bagel Under Construction on Belmont; Share Your Bagel Thoughts

Posted By on Mon, Jul 27, 2015 at 7:40 AM

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Proper Bagel is the latest restaurant coming to Belmont Boulevard; it's under construction in the space next door to BLVD that was previously occupied by Salon Stephen at 2011 Belmont.

Bites' eagle-eyed Nashville Post colleagues reported earlier this month that a business called Proper Bagel was coming to the site, based on Metro codes documents.

We still don't know many details, but signs are up and construction on the  promised "eatery/market" is now well underway. (The Post reported that Franklin-based Forte Building Group is handling the build-out, with the permit valued at $168,000.)

The Proper Bagel website is live, but under "coming soon" status, and there isn't a registered Facebook page yet, so the best way to track the progress toward opening will probably be on my daily walks around the neighborhood.

As someone who enjoys a nice bagel and a schmear, I can assure you I will keep my stalking efforts active. I've eaten plenty of NYC bagels and grew up on Nashville Bagel Company's specialty offerings. (Yeah, I admit I liked cinnamon raisin, but I was young.) However I certainly don't claim to be an expert on the topic, so I appeal to your knowledge, Bites readers.

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Friday, July 24, 2015

Open Thread Wants to Know Your Best Farmers Market Finds

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 8:18 AM

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On Saturday, as I was perusing the produce at the Forest Hills UMC Farmers Market, I encountered "Adirondack Blue" potatoes. When I inquired about them, I was told they are good, creamy potatoes that work well for mashing and retain their color after cooking. And indeed, they did! My daughter was thrilled to try some purply-blue mashed potatoes, which had a beautiful color and great texture even with the skins (which were thin) included.

These blue potatoes were just the latest among a number of great foods I've discovered at our local farmers markets. Among my other favorites are "Mortgage Lifter" tomatoes, gold watermelons, cabbage sprouts and other great produce, as well as local vendors such as Karla's Catering, Nutrisha, and Santo Niño de Atocha Tortilleria.

So, Bites Nation, I've asked before, but do you have any new discoveries at the farmers' markets this year? Or favorites you'd like to mention again? What else is going on?

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Hot Shots! Nashville Predators Launch Hot Chicken, Whiskey and Bourbon Festival

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 7:18 AM

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Sometimes a food and drink festival is so on the nose that it's hard not to love the absolute boldness of the organizers. I mean, c'mon, there's a new Hot Chicken, Whiskey and Bourbon Festival? It's like the Nashville Predators Foundation has jacked directly into the pleasure centers of my cerebral cortex.

But jack they have, since that's theme for the Preds' inaugural Hot Shot Festival, scheduled for Aug. 1 at the Bridgestone Arena. This 21-and-up event plans to bring together some of Nashville's favorite purveyors of hot chicken along with samples of bourbon and whiskey from regional and national distilleries. It all benefits the Nashville Predators Foundation, an organization that "strives to meet the educational, social, health and cultural needs of the community by offering unique resources and financial support to local youth-oriented organizations, awarding more than $4 million to the greater Nashville community." Hot chicken, whiskey and philanthropy? Count me in!

There are two different ticket structures for the event, based on whether you want to just eat or also enjoy some brown likker with your red chicken. A $40 ticket gets you full-size sample servings from at least 12 different hot chicken spots, free sodas and water, and a voucher for a ticket to a future Predators game. For $20 bucks more you get samples from more than 40 whiskey and bourbon options from distillers including:

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Poet Stephanie Pruitt and Chef Josh Habiger Team Up for Five Senses at OZ

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 12:34 PM

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Poems, with their rhythm and beat, tend to conjure a sound. And with their line breaks and structure, they offer a look and feel, too. But what does a poem taste like?

Stephanie Pruitt and Josh Habiger can help us find out.

Tonight, Pruitt invites us to step inside one her poems. Along with a couple dozen friends, she’s creating a sensory wonderland in OZ Arts Nashville’s 10,000-square-foot space.

The poem, “Close Reading,” which Pruitt wrote for the event, provides the framework and inspiration for creators of various mediums tapping all five senses, including musicians, visual artists, an aromatherapist, a landscape architect and chef Josh Habiger of Pinewood Social.

The experience called em·bod·i·ment: Poetry Through the Five Senses is part of OZ Arts Nashville’s TNT spotlight. It's  6 to 9 p.m. tonight at OZ Arts in West Nashville.

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Bajo Sexto Rolls Out New Summer Specials

Posted By on Thu, Jul 23, 2015 at 7:42 AM

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I don't know if you've noticed, but the tiny strip of Fifth Avenue South between the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Music City Center is the only area in Nashville that now allows open containers of alcohol to be carried on the sidewalk and in the street, ostensibly as a convenience for conventioneers traveling back and forth to the Omni Hotel.

It also happens to be the location of Bajo Sexto, the Jonathan Waxman project serving hot tacos and cold drinks in Nashville's newest urban taco corridor. The owners of Bajo Sexto were prescient enough to install a walk-up window that happens to be located at the end of the bar. Smart folks.

So in honor of summer, Bajo Sexto has come up with a series of daily specials to entice diners to fight the crowds of downtown beer trolleys and careening golf carts. Chef Kaelin Ulrich Trilling has developed new menu specials including a special cocktail or menu item daily. Kaelin will also offer a rotating menu of ceviche specials on Saturday and chilaquiles on Sunday.

Check out the list of deals:

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Madeline, East Nashville's Laundry Cafe, Shuts Down for Good

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 4:15 PM

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Madeline, the little combination cafe, bar and laundromat in East Nashville's Cleveland Park neighborhood, has closed.

The restaurant posted this message on Facebook and Instagram today:

We want to thank all the wonderful people who came in and supported us over the last 5 months. Sadly, we have had to close the doors until further notice. You are all awesome for helping us try to make Madeline work, but we just couldn't keep it together on our end. We are working to get something in here that you can enjoy. Many, many thanks.

The cafe's owner confirmed the closure but declined to comment beyond the Facebook and Instagram statement.

Madeline opened in March at 1224 Meridian St., at the corner of Meridian and Douglas. I never made it over there, but Bites heard good things. Dozens of fans expressed their sadness today on Madeline's Facebook page.

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Tour de Sugar: 30 Days of Candy Box Takes You Around the World

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 12:53 PM

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Here are three very real, very embarrassing truths about me:

1) I watch every episode of every Real Housewives franchise, 2) A few times a year I get the urge to listen to that stupid "Drops of Jupiter" song by Train, and 3) I am mildly addicted to subscription boxes.

It started with Birchbox, which sends me monthly makeup samples (by the way, you can cool it with all the mascara, Birchbox). Then, for a while, I loved Graze, which sends four pre-portioned healthy snacks every two or four weeks. After a while I realized I could just buy my own damn trail mix for a fraction of the cost, but that wasn't the point. More than the actual product, I just loved the experience of getting something fun in the mail. When I recently adopted a dog, the first thing I did after getting him set up with a bed, a bowl and leash was subscribe to BarkBox, a subscription box for dogs

So of course when I heard about 30 Days of Candy, a monthly delivery of, duh, 30 days worth of different kinds of candy, I signed up right away, despite the fact it was $30 ($30? DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY GUMMY SHARKS ONE CAN BUY FOR $30?). The first box arrived last night and I am in LOVE.

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Can You Make a Better Sandwich Than Dale Levitski's Breakfast Tacos? Enter Your Recipe

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 8:32 AM

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  • Dale Levitski's Breakfast Tacos
Do you have a favorite awesome sandwich recipe? If so, can you make one for me? I don’t know what it is, but sandwiches always seem to taste better when someone else makes them. Also, if you have one that's really awesome, you could win $25,000. That’s far more money than I will pay you to make a sandwich. I'd still like a sandwich, please. Anyhoo...

The second annual “America’s Better Sandwich” contest is now going on, sponsored by Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat Bakeries. From now until Aug. 23, you can submit as many of your favorite sandwich recipes to be considered for the grand prize. And $5,000 prizes will also be awarded to the winners in each category. Entrants can submit up to two recipes per category: Open-Face Artistry; Breakfast in Bread; Love, Healthfully; Creative Classics; and Fueling Good. Full descriptions and requirements for each category are available on the website. Last year’s winner was a curried chicken salad in the “Fueling Good” category.

And there’s another incentive for entering (and then for voting), too. For every eligible recipe submitted during the entry period, and for every vote cast during the voting period (Sept. 21, 2015 to Oct. 18), Arnold, Brownberry and Oroweat will donate a loaf of bread to Feeding America, its official charitable partner.

To get entrants excited and inspired, the bakeries have partnered with well-known chefs from across the country (many of which are alumni of Bravo’s Top Chef). One of our local Top Chefs, Dale Levitski from Sinema, is among those who are participating. Check out his Breakfast Tacos recipe:

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Music City Brewer's Festival Offers VIP Brewers Reception to Benefit TN Craft Brewers Guild

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2015 at 7:15 AM

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Despite the odd placement of that apostrophe, the Music City Brewer's Festival features a helluva lot more than just one brewer. In fact, this year's 14th edition, to be held this Saturday, July 25, at Hall of Fame Park downtown, will showcase beers from more than 50 breweries across the country and around the world. Sure, some of them may not be the darlings of the craft beer community (Miller/Coors, PBR, Corona, etc.), but most of your favorite local breweries will be sampling their wares along with some other beers that aren't always easy to find around these parts. Check out the full list of participating breweries at the event website.

The event is divided into two sessions, with the first from noon until 4 p.m. and the second running from 6 to 10, to allow for more people to participate in the fun. And presumably to hose down the park and restock the kegs. VIP passes have already sold out, but there were still tickets available for both sessions as of earlier this week. Buy your tickets in advance here to save a little money and to avoid getting shut out at the gate.

In a nice addition this year that recognizes the organization that represents Tennessee breweries, there will be a special VIP reception on Friday night before the festival from 7 to 9. Only 300 tickets are being sold for $75 apiece for the chance to get a sneak peek at the festival, visit with representatives from the breweries and sample some cool brews that will not be available at the big Saturday throw-down. Proceeds benefit the Tennessee Craft Brewers Guild and are available at the event website.

So put on your drinkin' goggles and beat the heat downtown this weekend.

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